Was the Roman Republic based on idol worship?

Posted by Randy Buchanan in Facebook's Pentecostal Theology Group View the Original Post

The Christian’s Response to Political Leadership
My comments

Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor. (1 Peter 2:13-17 ESV)

Just read these verses as part of The Fire Within devotion on Youversion.

While I am conservative both in my Biblical and political views it must be remembered God is the One ultimately in control. It does not matter whether D’s or R’s or I’s are in positions of authority. God’s Word tells believers they are to honor those in charge as well as their appointees.

Our actions of giving honor, even to those leaders we disagree with, is what is required by God for us to maintain our testimony.

I had been critical of President Obama’s and his policies. Disagreement is okay as long as it is respectful; vehemence and anger is inappropriate no matter what the policy. As Christians we must learn to disagree resp removed the like for the Nashville Tea Party because of the tone of attacks they posted. They were personal attacks that were often full of hatred and a lack of respect. (This happened in 2009)

Let us follow Peter’s injunction to honor all our political leaders and live with the good works of Christ and thereby silence those who oppose God and His people by our actions.

Below are some discussions with friends regarding my comments above.

I understand your sentiment and respect it. But here’s something to think about…

Many a coward has been bolstered in his conviction against challenging tyranny by not reading too deeply into the Scriptures. Yet, nowhere does the Bible ever suggest evil rulers are to be obeyed. When the rule of men conflicts with the commands of God, the Bible leaves no doubt about where we should stand.

That’s why I do not hesitate today in calling on godly Americans to pray that Barack Hussein Obama fail in his efforts to change our country from one anchored on self-governance and constitutional republicanism to one based on the raw and unlimited power of the central state.

If government commands you to do evil, as a Christian you must resist. There is no alternative. Citing the “render unto Caesar” line is an apologetic for accountability to God – nothing more, nothing less.

Furthermore, it needs to be pointed out that in America we don’t have a Caesar. Never have, never will. You see, our system of government is called a free republic, and it is based on the concept of constitutional self-government. We have no “rulers” in America – except ourselves and our God. We believe in the rule of law, not the rule of men.

This is an important distinction, not a semantic one.

Nowhere in the Bible does it teach us to obey evil rulers. Nowhere.

This is a time for principled biblical resistance, not phony Christian appeasement.

And to honor an evil leader, or evil representatives is not what God wants. We know they are evil by their actions. And that’s what scripture tells us. We will know them….

So I agree that hate shouldn’t be shared or promoted. But we must stand strong against evil…praying for God to intervene as He will. Love you Randy.

This was taken from an article written in January 2009, just as Obama was inaugurated. The site is The Prophetic Years. And I was in no way calling you a coward by quoting this article.

My follow up

1. Peter said to honor the leaders in authority. Obedience is to be given when it is not in DIRECT opposition to the KNOWN and REVEALED will of God. Obedience is not to be given in those matters where governmental mandates are in direct opposition to God’s commands. However, there often are disagreements regarding these areas depending on one’s interpretation of Scripture which means those areas are matters of opinion not God’s commandments.

2. The Roman’s had a republic form of government. Our republic in the USA is partially based on the Roman republic.

http://www.ushistory.org/civ/6a.asp

3. Honor is to be given to all governmental leaders, whether righteous or unrighteous. Joseph, Daniel, Meshach, Abendego and Shadrach as well as Esther all honored the heathen kings under which they lived. As a matter of fact, by the combination of their faith in God and their giving honor to their kings they became defenders of the people of God and were directly involved in Israel’s deliverances. They were also promoted to the utmost positions of power.

Here are just a few Scriptures which speak of the Christian responsibilities to leaders. Nowhere does Scripture indicate Christians are to live according to these standards only if they are in agreement with those leaders.

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.
(Romans 13:1-7 ESV)

Bondservants, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ, not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man, knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is a bondservant or is free. Masters, do the same to them, and stop your threatening, knowing that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and that there is no partiality with him.
(Ephesians 6:5-9 ESV)

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
(1 Timothy 2:1-4 ESV)

Even the actions of an evil or unrighteous leader can advance the preaching of the Gospel and bring more to knowledge of Christ.

I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ. And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear. (Philippians 1:12-14 ESV)

Honor is required. ALWAYS! Obedience is not.

1. Peter said to honor the leaders in authority. Obedience is to be given when it is not in DIRECT opposition to the KNOWN and REVEALED will of God. Obedience is not to be given in those matters where governmental mandates are in direct opposition to God’s commands. However, there often are disagreements regarding theses areas depending on one’s interpretation of Scripture which means those areas are matters of opinion not God’s commandments.

2. The Roman’s had a republic form of government. Our republic in the USA is partially based on the Roman republic.

http://www.ushistory.org/civ/6a.asp

3. Honor is to be given to all governmental leaders, whether righteous or unrighteous. Joseph, Daniel, Meshach, Abendego and Shadrach as well as Esther all honored the heathen kings under which they lived. As a matter of fact, by the combination of their faith in God and their giving honor to their kings they became defenders of the people of God and were directly involved in Israel’s deliverances. They were also promoted to the utmost positions of power.

Here are just a few Scriptures which speak of the Christian responsibilities to leaders. Nowhere does Scripture indicate Christians are to live according to these standards only if they are in agreement with those leaders.

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.
(Romans 13:1-7 ESV)

Bondservants, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ, not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man, knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is a bondservant or is free. Masters, do the same to them, and stop your threatening, knowing that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and that there is no partiality with him.
(Ephesians 6:5-9 ESV)

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
(1 Timothy 2:1-4 ESV)

Even the actions of an evil or unrighteous leader can advance the preaching of the Gospel and bring more to knowledge of Christ.

I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ. And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear. (Philippians 1:12-14 ESV)

Honor is required. ALWAYS! Obedience is not.

Response from other person –

Then here’s a question…how does one honor evil? My understanding is that we are to hate evil. I have a hard time hating anything or anyone but when faced with a known evil I’m finding that honor isn’t what I want to do. What I do is honor God by praying this evil away. Perhaps that’s the honor God is referring to…honoring God with our please and prayers so that He takes care of the evil. I will not obey the government when I know their law is wrong and goes against God. Bringing to light the failings and evil ways of this government is what we all need to do. I agree there should be no hatred involved. Did you message the Nashville Tea Party admin about your feelings? Most admins are receptive to your words. Blessings on you, Randy.

2nd Follow up

How is evil considered any different than sin in the eyes of God?
Once again look at the lives of Joseph, Daniel, Shadrach, Meschach, Abendego and Esther. They were all held in captivity in foreign lands by leaders who did not worship or honor the God of Israel.

Each of these persons were promoted to positions of power greater than any other counselors within their kingdoms.

When there was conflict between the commands of God and the orders of the king they obeyed God and were ready to pay the price.

The result of honoring God and the king was 1) deliverance, 2) proclamation by the king of God’s greatness, 3) promotion and 4) promised destruction of the enemies of God’s people.

Nebuchadnezzar answered and said, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who has sent his angel and delivered his servants, who trusted in him, and set aside the king’s command, and yielded up their bodies rather than serve and worship any god except their own God. Therefore I make a decree: Any people, nation, or language that speaks anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego shall be torn limb from limb, and their houses laid in ruins, for there is no other god who is able to rescue in this way.” Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the province of Babylon. (Daniel 3:28-30 ESV)

My God sent his angel and shut the lions’ mouths, and they have not harmed me, because I was found blameless before him; and also before you, O king, I have done no harm.” Then the king was exceedingly glad, and commanded that Daniel be taken up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no kind of harm was found on him, because he had trusted in his God. And the king commanded, and those men who had maliciously accused Daniel were brought and cast into the den of lions—they, their children, and their wives. And before they reached the bottom of the den, the lions overpowered them and broke all their bones in pieces. Then King Darius wrote to all the peoples, nations, and languages that dwell in all the earth: “Peace be multiplied to you. I make a decree, that in all my royal dominion people are to tremble and fear before the God of Daniel, for he is the living God, enduring forever; his kingdom shall never be destroyed, and his dominion shall be to the end. He delivers and rescues; he works signs and wonders in heaven and on earth, he who has saved Daniel from the power of the lions.” So this Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian. (Daniel 6:22-28 ESV)

Then Mordecai told them to reply to Esther, “Do not think to yourself that in the king’s palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews. For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai, “Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.” Mordecai then went away and did everything as Esther had ordered him. (Esther 4:13-17 ESV)

And when the king saw Queen Esther standing in the court, she won favor in his sight, and he held out to Esther the golden scepter that was in his hand. Then Esther approached and touched the tip of the scepter. And the king said to her, “What is it, Queen Esther? What is your request? It shall be given you, even to the half of my kingdom.” And as they were drinking wine after the feast, the king said to Esther, “What is your wish? It shall be granted you. And what is your request? Even to the half of my kingdom, it shall be fulfilled.” Then Esther answered, “My wish and my request is: If I have found favor in the sight of the king, and if it please the king to grant my wish and fulfill my request, let the king and Haman come to the feast that I will prepare for them, and tomorrow I will do as the king has said.” (Esther 5:2, 3, 6-8 ESV)

So the king and Haman went in to feast with Queen Esther. And on the second day, as they were drinking wine after the feast, the king again said to Esther, “What is your wish, Queen Esther? It shall be granted you. And what is your request? Even to the half of my kingdom, it shall be fulfilled.” Then Queen Esther answered, “If I have found favor in your sight, O king, and if it please the king, let my life be granted me for my wish, and my people for my request. For we have been sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be killed, and to be annihilated. If we had been sold merely as slaves, men and women, I would have been silent, for our affliction is not to be compared with the loss to the king.” Then King Ahasuerus said to Queen Esther, “Who is he, and where is he, who has dared to do this?” And Esther said, “A foe and enemy! This wicked Haman!” Then Haman was terrified before the king and the queen. And the king arose in his wrath from the wine-drinking and went into the palace garden, but Haman stayed to beg for his life from Queen Esther, for he saw that harm was determined against him by the king. And the king returned from the palace garden to the place where they were drinking wine, as Haman was falling on the couch where Esther was. And the king said, “Will he even assault the queen in my presence, in my own house?” As the word left the mouth of the king, they covered Haman’s face. Then Harbona, one of the eunuchs in attendance on the king, said, “Moreover, the gallows that Haman has prepared for Mordecai, whose word saved the king, is standing at Haman’s house, fifty cubits high.” And the king said, “Hang him on that.” So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then the wrath of the king abated. (Esther 7:1-10 ESV)

Had honor not been shown to the evil kings under which these Old Testament saints lived would deliverance have come to Israel within their captivity? Probably not.

It is possible to serve God and to honor those in positions of authority. By doing so the people of God can expect to be promoted to where they have influence within and can bring about a change in attitude just as happened with Nebuchadnezzar, Darius and Xerxes.

Pray yes. But respect and honor is due leaders.

Even as Jesus was presented to Pilate prior to His crucifixion He did not speak a disparaging word. Instead, when asked if He were the King of the Jews, He replied, “so you say.”

Will I continue to oppose abortion, the affordable care act, cutbacks in our military and other such policies? Yes. But it must be done with respect and honor.

Remember these words, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Philippians 4:8 ESV).

What we think becomes what we say and write. Disrespect and a lack of honor for those in authority is not an option for the Christian.

Also, note Daniel’s response to the king when the king came to check on Daniel. “My God sent his angel and shut the lions’ mouths, and they have not harmed me, because I was found blameless before him; and ALSO BEFORE YOU, O king, I have done NO HARM.” Daniel 6:22 ESV)

Even though the Hebrews were captives Daniel refused do any harm to the king, either by word or by deed!

As Christians we are to at all times honor God. However, we are also to honor those He knew would come to power. We are the ones to set the example and be the influencers who change the direction of those who have positional authority.

Name calling does not bring about change. Personal attacks only entrench positions held.
Prayer, faithfulness to God works and access to those in positions of authority bring about change which manifests deliverance. This is the godly way! This is the only way God uses believers to make a difference in society!

In Philippians Paul, in his benediction gives an intriguing verse. “All the saints greet you, especially those of Caesar’s household.”(Philippians 4:22 ESV)

At a minimum this indicates Christians were serving in the very domain of Caesar himself. It could even indicate members of Caesar’s very family had come to know Jesus as Lord and Savior. Could the jailer of Acts 16 now be in this as his duty station? All we know for sure is that God had influencers placed even in the home of Caesar himself!

Pray?Yes!
Do good works? Yes.
Penetrate the headquarters of God’s opponents? Yes!
Become an influential influencer? Yes!
Receive promotion by man and God? Yes!
Change the society in which you live? Yes!

How by honoring God and those He knew would rise to power!

The Roman Republic

12 Comments

  • Reply December 24, 2017

    Dan Irving

    This is the doctrine of 7 Mountains Dominionism. It is deeply heretical.

  • Reply December 31, 2017

    Varnel Watson

    wrong Randy Buchanan Like Dan said this is pure kingdom-now/NAR heresy at its best. This is not what our AG teaches Ify warned about this

  • Reply January 1, 2018

    Ify Divine Nsoha

    The reason I disagree with this and believe it is kingdom now is this: it is completely twisting the gospel to being a Religious political movement.

    And teenagers get so caught up in this.
    I was at a conference in Prague in June (I live near Prague, in Czech Republic, the most atheist nation on the planet). It was called Awakening. I was so exited even though I was hesitant due to having too much head knowledge about the falsehood plaguing christianity today (Lord God forgive me for my pride).

    I was exited cause I thought this would be the beginning of Revival in the Czech Republic. People coming to Christ. People being saved, discipled, and making disciples.

    All it was was literally a cover up for political slop. This one cat from Bethel “preached” Sunday afternoon (the absolute worst session of the whole conference, the best being Friday morning on this Thursday – Sunday night conference where Mattie Montgomery actually rightly divided the word), and it was this Dominionist nonsense for 1 hour. And they’d have the whole arena screaming ‘Jesus Jesus Jesus’ and ‘EUROPE SHALL BE SAVED’. it was completely shallow.

    For more on how young people get swamped up in this movement, here’s an article from Christianity Today:

    http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2017/august-web-only/bethel-church-international-house-prayer-prophets-apostles.html

  • Reply January 1, 2018

    Ify Divine Nsoha

    Bur, to be fair, IHOP is way less fake than people say. I believe there are many genuine Christians there, and I even believe Mike Bickle is our brother.

    However, I’m very apprehensive about anyone connected to this movement. I pray for them a lot

  • Reply January 1, 2018

    Varnel Watson

    you are quite correct Ify Divine Nsoha several years ago IHOP changed its eschatology to post-trib and subscribed to dominion kingdom-now theology to immediately endorse Ted Cruize (who alike all other kingdom-now chpices was a loosing candidate ) Again our AG is stillpre-mil and as well as most pentecostals out there does not support kingdom-now dominion theology

    http://www.pentecostaltheology.com/ihop-kc-has-moved-to-a-post-trib-eschatology/

  • Reply January 16, 2018

    Scotty Searan

    If anyone knew it was idol worship, Paul would have known. The Gospels doesn’t state it.
    Paul did use the court system
    The link cannot be opened

  • Reply January 16, 2018

    Varnel Watson

    Scotty They worshiped many of their emperors as gods. Every Roman citizen had many family gods and idols. What else we call this except idol worship? Paul condemned the practice on many occasions

  • Reply January 16, 2018

    Scotty Searan

    I will agree Paul spoke out against out idol worship
    But he did say honor the rulers and Obey those just as Jesus said give tribute to whom tribute is do that doesn’t say they worship the emperor as an idol or as a god

  • Reply January 16, 2018

    Varnel Watson

    Paul lived during Nero. He said to respect the emperor but not to worship him

  • Reply January 16, 2018

    Scotty Searan

    That is what I am saying. Respect. Evidently the preaching of the Gospel was against the Roman law or Paul would have lost His life as he did.
    But People under Nero, didn’t think Paul was guilty of a crime and that is bore out in Acts.
    Actually Rome did crucify Jesus Christ. It was the Jews. Pilate could have stopped it, but he was a wimp. But it was all going to happen anyway.

  • Reply January 17, 2018

    Varnel Watson

    Against the Emperor too. On many occasions Paul wrote he is not subject of the Emperor but of King Jesus. As ambassador of heaven he rejected any claim that all human belong to the Emperor and should bow to him. It was the strongest political manifesto Paul ever made.

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